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DigitalFilipino IT Amazing Race, Women’s Series

Welcome to the DigitalFilipino IT Amazing Race, women’s series. For this race, each contestant must be able to give a talk about their experiences in the IT industry and must be able to travel to 4 different cities in the Philippines in four days and must cover the three major islands: Luzon, Vizayas and Mindanao. The team members are:

Abby O. Lim – AKA Ecommerce Site Starter – Owner of www.virramall.com and Alfox Computer Center.

Cannie Mae Encarnacion – AKA Pinoy Payment Gateway hope and savior – www.yossn.com

Stephanie “Honey” Caragos – AKA, the Sweetest IT professional you can ever find (siempre) – www.syntacticsinc.com

Aileen Apolo – AKA, Diosa ng Philippine SEO– (Apolo with one “L” please) Philippines Country Consultant for www.Google.com

Jonas De Los Reyes – AKA, ang lider ng online bentahan (Ecommerce Manager) for www.yehey.com

Here’s my summary of the entire ITventure:

Women on the Web, Wireless and Outsourcing
Day 1:
Team members (Janette, Cannie, Abby, Aileen and Jonas) flew in from Manila to setup the Venue for the launching of the Forum. I picked up Cannie and Abby from the hotel and was so happy to see them personally (“live”) for the first time. We have constantly communicated through YM and have discussed for this roadshow. We took a sidetrip to Del Monte Bukidnon to show them around and then came back to Cagayan de Oro with enough time to prepare for our talks. I would like to thank the Cagayan de Oro participants for supporting the forum. I am excited at the fact that there are a lot of SMEs who are interested in setting up their ecommerce sites and are interested in the prospect of accepting payments online. We had participants from the education, travel, Manufacturing, Wedding Suppliers and Hotel and Retail sectors. It’s really a good opportunity for these sectors to have an online payment solution as they have a lot of potential clients/customers from outside the Philippines who would like to make advance payments for their products and services. For example, at the advent that there are so many parents working outside the country, it’s a great option for schools to be able to receive payments online and give the parents a feeling of security that they have well provided for their children’s education, on time and without fuss.

Day 2:
3:15 AM We left Cagayan de Oro for Davao. We hired a van and had a long six hour road trip. Of course, we had to stop by Seagull Mountain Valley Resort for our “pit stop” — breakfast in Mindanao’s version of Baguio, where the weather is always cold. We checked in at Hotel Leticia with enough time to prepare for our session in the afternoon. Janette went on ahead to the venue to setup the place as the rest of us stayed in the hotel and made the most of the free wifi access we could get in the lobby and had to do some work/business. It’s really funny to see us with our notebooks open, trying to finish our business communications (and then some). After seeing everyone trying to find a wifi connection, I would like to conclude that there is a new addiction wherein the person is referred to as a “wifi junkie.” Our venue, Ranchero Grill had the right space and food for the event. Thank you so much to Rodney Jao of Lane Systems for your preparations and accommodation. I’d also like to thank Mr. Chito Lucero, Rachel and Jason Banico of Hubport Interactive for our sumptuous Korean dinner! It was also great to see Oliver Robillo and be able to chit-chat with him again!

Day 3: Last minute wifi access usage over breakfast and trying to avoid wifi withdrawal symptom. Hehe…. Then rush to the airport to catch the plane for Cebu. We got to Cebu just in time. Now, it’s really an amazing race challenge. With only one hour to travel from airport to Rajah Park Hotel (venue), Cannie and I were left at the airport to get the baggage that was checked in and then Janette and Abby left ahead to prepare the venue (I’m so sorry to the guy by the baggage conveyor who was waiting for his box of Pomelos, I didn’t know I got your pomelo box instead of Abby’s…hehe… anyway, you got your pomelos now…so all good). We all got there just in time. Thanks to Aileen Apollo, she took us to waterfront with her in her hotel pick-up vehicle and we were able to easily get a cab from there. Smart move Aileen, genius, absolutely genius. Thanks to the Global Cebu group for assisting in the organization of the trip. The venue, the sound system and the food were all perfect! I had fun during the open forum as many did ask us questions and interacted with us.

Day 4: 2:30 AM. Team members woke up early to start preparing to catch the 6:00 AM Manila flight. All good. Got to the airport with enough time for breakfast and enjoy the sunrise at the Cebu airport. When we got to Manila, Janette had to rush for her Cyberfair event (It’s unbelievable how Janette manages to get to all her engagements and have so much energy after all the trips we’ve done!). We had a good time during the afternoon event. It’s so nice to finally meet the faces behind all the site names I have read in digitalfilipino. I was really impressed with Reggie of regaloservice.com’s talk wherein she talked about how it is to setup an online store and how it is to be a career woman, a mother and a wife in this day and age. Her talk perfectly aligned with the entire forum’s theme. The Manila networking after all the talks was truly fun as I talked with Chris of FQMC, Rona of www.trabilis.com.ph, Gwen of www.thegrapebunch.com, Reggie of regaloservice.com, Joan of www.mylittlebaker.com, Erick of www.load.com.ph, Charlie of www.weddinglibrary.com.ph, Venus of tw-travelsolutions.com and Tracy of www.yespayments.com. Thank you so much for the warm reception and for making the event successful. Thank you also to Abby’s dad, Mr. Alfred Ongyanco for receiving us at the airport, for helping with the venue preparations and for spending time with us! Most importantly, thanks to Ms. Janette Toral for being an inspiration, for mentoring and guiding us all throughout the trip. Of course, all this would not have been possible if it were not for Cannie of www.yossn.com! Thanks so much Cannie! I’m so looking forward to the next W3O event next year! Let’s all keep in touch!

About The Author

Stephanie

Stephanie Caragos is the President & CEO of the 16 year running IT Company, Syntactics, Inc. and is the founder of letIThelp.org, a program and initiative that envisions in helping young Filipinos hone their skills in IT and increase their chances of getting stable and profitable jobs. She is a speaker and mentor in various Online Marketing, Web, ICT and ICT businesses related seminars and talks and works tirelessly in finding innovative ways of marketing online for clients. She is also a staunch supporter of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises as she continues to develop products and services that would benefit SMEs as well as help them increase their success rate in using technology in business. Stephanie is currently the president of the CDO ICT Business Council and works with the members and stakeholders in the city in promoting ICT to support more startups and create more jobs in the city. She recently completed her Eisenhower Fellowship and was awarded as the Douglas Dillon Named Fellow for the year 2016.

2 Comments

  1. Hey Stephanie. You did very well in this amazing race. I look forward in seeing you again this E-Services Philippines 2007!

    Reply
  2. Hi Steph! Thanks for the compliment. Hope you have a good time this Holiday Season 🙂 Merry Christmas! – Reggie Bundang

    Reply

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